Hearing loss is more than just having trouble hearing sounds. For many Australians, missing out on chats with friends or not getting the full story in a group laugh can feel like missing out on chats. It’s not only about the ears but also the heart.
People often talk about the challenges of hearing, like not catching every word or jumping at sudden loud noises. But the feelings? Those can be tough. Many feel left out, upset, or even a bit down because of their hearing loss.
It’s important to look after both the hearing and feeling bits. This blog will help with that. We’ll share some simple ways to handle hearing loss’s emotional ups and downs. So, let’s get started and make things a bit easier.
1. Embrace Acceptance
Realising there’s a change in your hearing isn’t always easy. But taking a step back and being honest with yourself is the starting point. That little nudge of self-awareness? It’s crucial.
Imagine you’re trying to tune a radio, and you’re just not getting a clear sound. It’s a bit like that with hearing loss. Once you acknowledge there’s a bit of static, you can start adjusting. Recognising the issue means you’re halfway to finding a solution.
But here’s the thing: facing up to hearing loss isn’t just about the ears. It’s also about the noggin. By changing the way you see the challenge, you can turn it into a learning journey. Instead of seeing it as a setback, consider it a new chapter. A chapter where you learn more about yourself the world around you, and perhaps even pick up new skills.
And this acceptance? It’s gold for your mental health. By embracing the changes, you’re giving yourself a big pat on the back, saying, “It’s okay. I’ve got this.” Because you do, and with acceptance, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother ride ahead, both in hearing and heart.
2. Seek Professional Guidance
When you’re navigating rough waters, it always helps to have an expert on board. And with hearing loss, it’s no different. Ever thought about having a chat with someone who gets it? Someone who can guide you through the ups and downs? Well, that’s where professional help steps in.
Counselling and therapy aren’t just for the big dramas in life. They’re tailored chats that can help you understand and handle hearing loss in your own unique way. Think of it as having a mate, trained in the ins and outs of hearing challenges, there to lend an ear. They can offer strategies, a comforting chat, and sometimes, just the right words when you need them most.
Now, onto audiologists. These legends are like the GPS for your hearing journey. Regular check-ins with them aren’t just about keeping tabs on your hearing levels. They’re about understanding what’s happening and getting the right tools to help. And trust us, it makes a world of difference. You wouldn’t set out on a road trip without checking the map, right? It’s the same with your hearing journey.
Seeking out these professionals gives you a sense of control. It’s like having a roadmap and a trusty co-driver. With their guidance, you’re not just reacting to changes but taking the front seat, confidently steering your journey. So, please give it a go. Lean on the experts and take charge of your hearing story.
3. Join a support group
Have you ever been in a room and felt like everyone just “gets” you? That’s the magic of support groups. Imagine sitting down for a cuppa with many folks who know exactly what you’re going through. There’s something special about sharing experiences, especially regarding something as personal as hearing loss.
When you chat with peers facing the same challenges, it’s like a breath of fresh air. You’ll think, “I’m not alone in this.” And that feeling? It’s worth its weight in gold. Being part of a support group offers that nod of understanding. The shared chuckles over common hiccups and the relief of finding your tribe.
But it’s not just about sharing stories. It’s about trading secrets! Everyone has their way of handling situations, and you’ll pick up many handy tips in a group. Maybe it’s a new app that helps with sounds, a technique to manage crowded spaces, or even just a fresh perspective on day-to-day challenges.
Australia offers several reputable support groups and organisations that assist individuals with hearing loss. Here are some of them:
- Freedom Hearing: A leading hearing services provider in Australia, we offer various services, including hearing tests and hearing aid fittings.
- Better Hearing Australia (BHA): An educational, therapeutic, advisory, and support service for people with hearing loss, their families, and care providers.
- Deafness Forum of Australia: The national representative of all Australians who are deaf or have a hearing impairment or chronic ear disorder.
- Deaf Sports Australia: Encourages and facilitates the participation of deaf Australians in all levels of sport.
- Deaf Australia: deaf-led advocacy and information organisation in Australia representing all Deaf, Deafblind, hard-of-hearing people and others who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their language of preference.
In a nutshell, support groups are like a treasure trove of experiences and coping tricks. They’re places where you can be yourself, share a laugh, shed a tear, and walk away feeling stronger. So, if you’re looking for a sense of belonging and a boost of confidence, joining a group might be your next best step.
4. Stay Informed
You know the saying, “Knowledge is power”? Well, when it comes to hearing loss, it’s spot on. Imagine going on a hike and having a guidebook in your hand. That’s what staying informed is like. It gives you a heads-up, a clearer path, and makes the journey heaps easier.
When you take the time to understand your hearing situation, you’re giving yourself a leg up. It’s not just about knowing what’s happening in your ears. It’s about being prepared, having a game plan, and feeling empowered to tackle challenges head-on.
Now, let’s chat about the rapid pace of technology and treatments. It’s like every other day, there’s a breakthrough, a fresh piece of tech, or an innovative approach popping up. And for us Aussies dealing with hearing loss? This is fantastic news! Keeping up with the latest can open doors to treatments or devices that might be just right for you. It’s about having more options and tools in your toolkit.
But here’s the real gem: staying informed paints a brighter picture of the future. You see all the progress and potential ahead when you’re in the loop. And that? It brings hope. A feeling that things are up and up and that tomorrow might just be a tad better than today.
So, take some time, do some reading, or chat with experts. Stay in the know because with knowledge, you’re hearing better and feeling more upbeat about what lies ahead.
Visit Freedom Hearing Blog to read informative hearing loss articles.
5. Try mindfulness and other relaxation techniques
Have you ever had one of those days when everything feels too much? Maybe it’s a buzzing room where you can’t quite catch the chatter or a missed phrase that throws you off. We’ve all been there. But what if there was a way to hit the ‘pause’ button, even just for a moment?
Enter mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Picture this: you’re taking a deep breath in, letting it out slowly, and just like that, the world seems a tad quieter. That’s the magic of meditation and deep breathing exercises. They offer a little pocket of peace when everything gets a bit hectic. And for moments when the stress seems to creep into your muscles? Progressive muscle relaxation can feel like a gentle massage, releasing all that built-up tension.
Now, let’s connect the dots. When you’re calm and centred, handling emotions becomes a breeze. Think about finding your way in a storm versus a calm day. With a clear mind, you’re better equipped to cope with those curly hearing challenges, turning mountains back into molehills.
Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to help relax during moments of stress:
Relaxing When Stressed About Hearing Loss
1. Find a Quiet Place
Choose a calm location where you won’t be disturbed. This can be a quiet room in your home, a peaceful outdoor location, or even just sitting in your car for a few moments.
2. Comfortable Position
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Ensure your back is straight if you’re sitting. Close your eyes to minimise distractions.
3. Deep Breathing
- Breathe deeply through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of six.
- Repeat this process for 5-10 minutes or until you feel more relaxed.
4. Body Awareness
Starting from your toes and moving upwards, pay attention to each part of your body. If you notice any tension, try to relax in that area. This progressive relaxation helps release physical stress.
5. Positive Affirmations
Tell yourself some reassuring phrases in your mind, like:
“I am capable of handling this.”
“This moment of stress is temporary.”
“I am not alone in my experiences, and support is available.”
6. Visualise a Calm Place:
Imagine where you feel most relaxed –a beach, a forest, a garden, or even a memory from a past event. Focus on the details: the sounds, the smells, and the feelings associated with that place.
7. Grounding Technique – 5-4-3-2-1:
5 things you can see around you.
4 things you can touch or feel.
3 things you can hear (this might be challenging with hearing loss, so it’s okay to focus on sounds you remember or imagine).
2 things you can smell.
1 thing you can taste.
8. Slowly Return:
Gradually bring your awareness back to the present after 10-15 minutes (or longer if needed). Open your eyes, stretch your arms and legs, and sit quietly for a minute before standing up.
9. Hydrate and Nourish:
Drink a glass of water and eat a small healthy snack if available. Hydration and nutrition can help reset the body.
10. Seek support:
Consider talking to someone you trust about your feelings –a family member, friend, or professional. Sometimes, simply sharing your feelings can be incredibly relieving.
Remember, taking a break and giving yourself time to relax is okay. Over time and with practice, these steps can become an effective tool in managing the stress related to hearing loss.
So, give these techniques a go next time you’re feeling the whirlwind of emotions. Whether it’s a few deep breaths, a moment of meditation, or some muscle relaxation, you’ll find a bit of calm amidst the chaos. And with that calm? You’re all set to navigate hearing loss with grace and poise.
Need More Support with Hearing Loss? We’re Here for You!
Don’t navigate this journey alone. At Freedom Hearing, we understand the challenges and emotions of hearing loss.
Whether you need advice support or want to better understand your hearing health, our friendly team is ready to assist.
📞 Call us at 1300 689 085 or 📅 Book a Free Hearing Check today. Let’s take the next step towards better hearing together!